Calciphylaxis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Calciphylaxis remains a poorly understood vascular calcification disorder with predilection for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Recent data from large patient registries and databases have begun to provide information regarding incidence, risk factors, and outcomes in patients with calciphylaxis.

Recent findings

The most recent estimate places the incidence of calciphylaxis at 3.5 new cases/1000 patient-years among the patients with ESRD on chronic hemodialysis. It is possible that misdiagnosis or subclinical disease may attribute to lower than the true incidence. There is a suggestion that the incidence is higher in peritoneal dialysis patients compared with patients with hemodialysis. Recent studies have identified a number of risk factors and point to the effects of vitamin K deficiency mediated impairment in Matrix Gla Protein carboxylation as one of the likely pathogenic mechanisms. The outcomes in calciphylaxis patients remain poor with mortality approaching 30% at 6 months and 50% at 12 months.

Summary

The present review describes recent literature in the field of calciphylaxis. Calciphylaxis registries and specimen biorepositories promise to provide insights into the pathogenesis of calciphylaxis and will pave the way for much needed clinical trials.

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